The 300 Most Underrated Actors (Great Character Actors)

This is a list of actors who may or may not be household names, and most (if not all) of the people listed could be considered "character" actors. Some of these gentlemen may be familiar to you and some may not, but all have given great performances during their respective careers. This list originally ended at 250 people, but seeing that I can now add as many of these deserving actors as I want, this list will continue to grow exponentially.

===Updated August 30, 2013===
The list will be increased to 350 starting today. Many thanks to any and all who've commented and left their thoughts on who should be here and who may have been left out. With over 400,000 views and over 1000 likes on Facebook I'm continually impressed by the feedback I've received. Much thanks and stay tuned for more!---Andy
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1.
Ed Lauter
Actor, The Artist
Edward Matthew Lauter II was born on October 30, 1938 in Long Beach, New York. In a film career that extended for over four decades, Lauter starred in a plethora of film and television productions since making his big screen debut in the western Dirty Little Billy. He portrayed an eclectic array of characters over the years...
“ In a film career that has extended for over four decades, Ed Lauter has starred in a plethora of film and television productions since making his big screen debut in the 1971 western "Dirty Little Billy". Lauter has portrayed an eclectic array of characters over the years, including (but not limited to), authority/military figures, edgy villains, and good-hearted heavies. Many will remember him for his appearance as the stern Capt. Wilhelm Knauer in 1974's "The Longest Yard" (Lauter also made a cameo in the 2005 remake.) Lauter has also worked with some of the biggest film luminaries of the last fifty years, including Alfred Hitchcock, Lee Marvin, Burt Lancaster and Charles Bronson. With a face that seems to pop up everywhere, Lauter has remained in demand for roles on both television and film. Some of his more recent outings include the films Seraphim Falls (2006, opposite Liam Neeson and Pierce Brosnan) and 2003's Seabiscuit; as well as appearances on Grey's Anatomy and Psych.

==October 17, 2013==

An acting legend passes.....Ed Lauter, character actor extraordinaire and, from what I've been told, one of the nicest folks you'd ever want to meet has died of mesothelioma at age 74. I'm speechless.......I've been a fan of this man's work for as long as I can remember and this has officially ruined the night. Some time ago (early 2011) I took the time to compile a list of the 250 greatest character actors of all time for the IMDB website and deservedly placed Ed in the #1 slot. Some months afterwards I was contacted by a friend of his via the IMDB messenger/posting system and was told that Ed himself had seen my list and had even taken a copy of it with him when going up to read for film roles. Mr. Lauter's friend was even kind enough to send me Ed's cell phone number (I was told to keep it private) and was also told that Ed appreciated my kind words about him and his acting career on the above bio I wrote for him on the IMDB site. I'm sorry to report that I never did work up enough courage to call up this amazing actor and now, with his untimely death, I'll never get the chance to do so. He will certainly be remembered for his impressive body of work over the past forty years, and especially by me for his kindness in reaching out to me through his friend.....a true legend. Rest in Peace Ed! ” - aladdinsane85
 
2.
Richard Lynch
Actor, Halloween
Richard Hugh Lynch was born on February 12, 1940 in Brooklyn, New York City, to Irish immigrant parents. He was one of seven children. Before starting a career as an actor, he joined the United States Marine Corps in 1958. He served for four years where he made Corporal, and did a tour of the Middle East with the Sixth Fleet...
“ As he is remembered....one of the great character actors of our time, Richard Lynch (1936-2012). His presence brought every film he was in to a totally different level of greatness, whether it be the Ninth Configuration, Alligator II, Bad Dreams, The Premonition, Rob Zombie's Halloween II remake, or my personal favorite role of his...."Moon" in "the Seven Ups." A monumental acting talent and villain extraordinaire, the likes of which won't be seen again...RIP good sir. ” - aladdinsane85
 
3.
Warren Oates
Warren Oates was an American character actor of the 1960s and 1970s and early 1980s whose distinctive style and intensity brought him to offbeat leading roles. Oates was born in Depoy, a very small Kentucky town. He was the son of Sarah Alice (Mercer) and Bayless Earle Oates, a general store owner...
 
4.
Joe Spinell
Actor, Rocky
Joseph J. Spagnuolo was born on October 28, 1936 in Manhattan, New York City at his family's apartment on 2nd Avenue. Spinell was a tough guy on and off screen all his life. During his teen years, while still in high school, he acted in various plays on the New York stage, on and off Broadway, eventually earning a place in Joe Papp's Shakespeare Festival Theater...
“ Someone please upload a picture for the late, great and unforgettable character actor Joe Spinell. He certainly is worthy of being remembered with a photo here on Imdb. ” - aladdinsane85
 
5.
Brad Dourif
Character actor Brad Dourif was born Bradford Claude Dourif on March 18, 1950 in Huntington, West Virginia. He is the son of Joan Mavis Felton (Bradford) and Jean Henri Dourif, a French-born art collector who owned and operated a dye factory. His father died when Dourif was three years old, after which his mother married Bill Campbell...
 
6.
M. Emmet Walsh
Wonderfully talented, heavyset character actor (from New York, but regularly playing Southerners) M. Emmet Walsh has made a solid career of playing corrupt cops, deadly crooks, and zany comedic roles since the early 1970s. Michael Emmet Walsh was born in Ogdensburg, to Agnes Katharine (Sullivan) and Harry Maurice Walsh...
 
7.
Geoffrey Lewis
Talented and highly capable character actor Geoffrey Lewis, with rustic (sometimes sour-faced) looks, grew up in Rhode Island but was moved out to California at the age of ten. Lewis was very keen on the dramatic arts at high school, but often preferred to put on his own one-man shows rather than participate in larger school productions...
 
8.
Harry Dean Stanton
Actor, Alien
Prolific character actor Harry Dean Stanton's drooping, weather-beaten appearance and superb acting talent have been his ticket to appearing in over 100 films, and 50 TV episodes. Stanton was born in West Irvine, Kentucky, to Ersel (Moberly), a cook, and Sheridan Harry Stanton, a barber and tobacco farmer...
 
9.
Timothy Carey
Timothy Carey had one of the most unusual careers of all Hollywood character actors, obtaining full cult status for his portrayals of the doomed, the psychotic and the plain crazy. Carey's career was an "Only in America" type of story, and he retains his status as a Great American Original a decade after his death...
“ A few months ago (late 2010) I was first told about this man's peculiar acting style and the sinister roles he portrayed in films such as "The Killing" (1956) and as Lord High n' Low in "Head" (1968.) I first remember cathcing him as the creepy mobster Flo in "The Killing of a Chinese Bookie" (1976) a few years ago and at the time never bothered to learn his name. Looking back on this now, this was a true mistake on my part, as the man had a truly unique career in film and really seemed to follow his own path when choosing roles. I greatly look forward to seeing his brainchild "The World's Greatest Sinner" (1962) in its entirety at some point (how about a DVD? Anyone?) Truly interesting actor, and its a shame he didn't have more roles come his way late in his career. A true talent if there ever was one! ” - aladdinsane85
 
11.
Vincent Schiavelli
Vincent Schiavelli, selected in 1997 by Vanity Fair as one of the best character actors in America, had made over 120 film and television appearances. He studied acting at NYU's Theatre Program. Aside from his acting career, Vincent was the author of three cookbooks, and has written numerous articles on food for magazines and newspapers. In 2001, he received the James Beard Journalism Award.
 
12.
Anthony Zerbe
Hailing from Long Beach, California, talented character actor Anthony Zerbe has kept busy in Hollywood and on stage since the late 1960s, often playing villainous or untrustworthy characters, with his narrow gaze and unsettling smirk. Zerbe was born May 20, 1936 in Long Beach, and served a stint in...
 
13.
Bo Hopkins
Sandy-haired US actor Bo Hopkins was born William Hopkins in Greenville, South Carolina, and was raised by his mother and grandmother after his father passed on when Bo was only nine years old. He joined the US Army at the age of 16. After serving his hitch he decided on acting as a career and gained experience in summer stock productions and guest spots in several TV episodes...
 
14.
James Rebhorn
James Robert Rebhorn (September 1, 1948 - March 21, 2014) was an American actor who appeared in over 100 films, television series, and plays. At the time of his death, he had recurring roles in the current series White Collar and Homeland. An early performance was in Butterflies are Free at the Peterborough Players in New Hampshire in 1974...
 
15.
Ned Beatty
Stocky, genial-looking supporting actor Ned Beatty was once hailed by Daily Variety as the "busiest actor in Hollywood". Ned Thomas Beatty was born in Louisville, Kentucky, to Margaret (Fortney) and Charles William Beatty. He grew up fishing and working on farms. His hometown of St. Matthews, Kentucky...
 
16.
Jason Miller
Character actor and playwright Jason Miller had a variety of jobs before he started a writing career and wrote his own play, "That Championship Season", for which he received the Pulitzer Prize Award. Miller gave up his professional writing career in the early seventies to start acting. In 1973, he starred as a troubled priest in the horror film classic The Exorcist...
 
17.
Bill McKinney
Bill McKinney, the movie and television character actor who was one of the great on-screen villains, was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee on September 12, 1931. He had an unsettled life as a child, moving 12 times before joining the Navy at the age of 19 during the Korean War. Once, when his family moved from Tennessee to Georgia...
“ Mainly remember for his performance in Deliverance, McKinney was a presence in a host of other films (including seven Clint Eastwood movies). McKinney died at age 80 on December 1, 2011. ” - aladdinsane85
 
18.
Jon Polito
A veteran of nearly 100 films, Jon Polito is most recognized for his work with The Coen brothers, as well as his many television appearances as a series regular and guest star. Notable Motion Picture roles are in Millers Crossing, Barton Fink, The Man Who Wasn't There, The Crow, Blankman, and The Freshman with Marlon Brando...
 
19.
John Cazale
John Cazale was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to an Irish-American mother, Cecilia (Holland), and an Italian-American father, John Cazale. Cazale only made five feature films in his career, all which many fans and critics alike call classics. But before his film debut, the short The American Way, he won numerous Obie Awards for his stage performances in "The Indian Wants the Bronx" and "The Line"...
 
20.
Brion James
Brion James was born February 20, 1945, in Redlands, California, to Ida Mae (Buckelew) and Jimmy James. The family soon moved to Beaumont, California (between Los Angeles and Palm Springs), where his parents built and operated a movie theater, where stars such as Gene Autry would occasionally stop by...
 
21.
Billy Drago
Drago is well-known for his villainous parts (leading or supporting), and he is renowned for his rugged yet scary looks and evil smile. He was born William Eugene Burrows in Hugoton, Kansas. He became interested in acting and took his mother's maiden name 'Drago' as a stage name. At first he worked as a stuntman in Kansas...
 
22.
Keith David
Actor, Platoon
Keith David was born Keith David Williams in New York City's Harlem district, and was raised in East Elmhurst, in the Queens section of the city. He is the son of Dolores (Dickenson), a New York Telephone manager, and Lester Williams, a payroll operations director. As a child, he realized he wanted...
 
23.
David Warner
Actor, Titanic
David Hattersley Warner was born July 29, 1941 in Manchester, England, to Ada Doreen (Hattersley) and Herbert Simon Warner. He has described his childhood as "messy". His father changed jobs often and moved from town to town. David attended eight schools and "failed his exams at all of them". His parents separated when he was a teenager and he only saw his mother again seven years later...
 
24.
Maury Chaykin
The award-winning Canadian-American character actor Maury Chaykin was born on July 27, 1949 in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Professor Irving J. Chaykin and his wife Clarice. Irving Chaykin, an American citizen, taught accountancy at the City College of New York. The former Clarice Bloomfield, his mother...
 
25.
Charles Durning
Actor, The Sting
WWII veteran, dance instructor and diversely talented stage & screen actor were all inclusions on the resume of this perpetually busy US actor who didn't get in front of the cameras until around the time of his fortieth birthday. The stockily built Charles Durning was one of Hollywood's most dependable and sought after supporting actors...
 
26.
John C. McGinley
Actor, Scrubs
John C. McGinley's path to stardom is a story that reads like a classic Hollywood script. While an understudy in New York in the Circle-In-The-Square production of John Patrick Shanley's "Danny and the Deep Blue Sea," he was spotted by director Oliver Stone and soon after was cast in "Platoon," the...
 
27.
Pat Hingle
Actor, Batman
Pat Hingle (real name: Martin Patterson Hingle) was born in Miami, Florida, the son of a building contractor. His parents divorced when Hingle was still in his infancy (he never knew his father) and his mother supported the family by teaching school in Denver. She then began to travel (with her son in tow) in search of more lucrative work; by age 13 Hingle had lived in a dozen cities...
 
28.
Strother Martin
American character actor who achieved considerable fame in the last decade of his life. A native of Kokomo, Indiana, Strother Martin Jr. was the youngest of three children of Strother Douglas Martin, a machinist, and Ethel Dunlap Martin. His family moved soon after his birth to San Antonio, Texas, but quickly returned to Indiana...
 
29.
 
31.
Danny Trejo
Actor, Machete
Danny Trejo was born Dan Trejo in Echo Park, Los Angeles, to Alice (Rivera) and Dan Trejo, a construction worker. A child drug addict and criminal, Trejo was in and out of jail for 11 years. While serving time in San Quentin, he won the lightweight and welterweight boxing titles. Imprisoned for armed robbery and drug offenses...
 
32.
Joe Morton
Joe Morton was born on October 18, 1947 in New York, New York, USA. He is a television, film, and theater actor, best known for The Brother from Another Planet, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Eureka, and Scandal. He also writes and directs, and is a singer/songwriter.
 
35.
Jeff Daniels
Actor Jeff Daniels was born in Athens, Georgia, but was raised in Chelsea, Michigan. He is the son of Marjorie J. (Ferguson) and Robert Lee Daniels, who owned The Chelsea Lumber Company and was also mayor of Chelsea. Jeff attended Central Michigan University, but became involved in acting and dropped out to pursue a career as an actor...
 
36.
“ Gotta give some love for ol' Warden Norton.....sadly that's the role he's most known for. Check him out as another unseemly character (C.E. Lively) in the underrated 1987 film "Matawan", opposite Chris Cooper and James Earl Jones. ” - aladdinsane85
 
37.
Frank Whaley
Frank Whaley is a critically acclaimed actor/writer/director. He is best known for the films Pulp Fiction and Swimming with Sharks, and has worked with Oliver Stone multiple times. His feature directorial debut, Joe the King, earned him the Waldo Salt Screenwriting prize at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival...
“ This man has seemingly been in everything....while that may seem a strange remark, take a look at his filmography. "Hoffa", "Pulp Fiction", "Field of Dreams", "Red Dragon", "Swimming With Sharks" and a plethora of television guest spots over the past twenty years or so! ” - aladdinsane85
 
38.
Ronny Cox
Ronny Cox is a superbly talented actor, singer-songwriter and musician who has been consistently active in Hollywood for over 40 years portraying a diverse range of characters. Born in Cloudcroft, New Mexico, Cox received positive reviews in his first film role for his portrayal of ill-fated businessman...
 
40.
Fred Ward
Actor, Tremors
A marvelous character actor with intense eyes, a sly grin and somewhat grizzled appearance, Fred Ward has nearly 70 appearances under his belt in many tremendous films. He first became interested in acting after serving three years in the US Air Force and studied at New York's Herbert Berghof Studio...
 
41.
Slim Pickens
Slim Pickens spent the early part of his career as a real cowboy and the latter part playing cowboys, and he is best remembered for a single "cowboy" image: that of bomber pilot Maj. "King" Kong waving his cowboy hat rodeo-style as he rides a nuclear bomb onto its target in the great black comedy Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb...
 
42.
John Savage
This American film actor also multitasks as a producer, composer and production manager. He rose to fame in the 1970s, praised for his range and sensitivity. His blonde rugged looks helped viewers connect even more easily to his powerful performances. Born John Youngs in Old Bethpage, New York, Savage attended the American Academy of Performing Arts...
 
43.
Scott Wilson
Actor, Monster
One chillingly infamous screen role for Scott Wilson in 1967 set the tone for an actor who went on to prove himself an invaluable character player for the past five decades. The Georgia-born native (Atlanta born and raised) was awarded a basketball scholarship following high school at Georgia's Southern Tech University to study architecture...
 
44.
Harris Yulin
Another one of those frustratingly nameless but omnipresent and talented faces of stage, film and TV, chameleon-like player Harris Yulin has avoided the severe stereotyping lost to many a prolific actor. Benign, balding and often bearded, Yulin off camera was a stark contrast to the tough, unsympathetic men he presented on camera...
 
45.
William Sanderson
Prolific and versatile character actor William Sanderson was born on January 10, 1944, in Memphis, Tennessee. His mother was an elementary school teacher and his father was a landscape designer. William served two years in the US Army. Following his military service he attended Southern Methodist University...
 
46.
Bruce McGill
Actor, Collateral
Bruce McGill grew up in San Antonio, Texas where he began his acting career in in the MacArthur High School department of theatre. His most popular role was in Animal House.
 
47.
David Paymer
One of modern TV and moviedom's most sturdy and reliable character actors, David Paymer dreamed of being an actor from early childhood. Although he came from a traditional middle-class Jewish family that urged him to become a doctor or lawyer, Paymer felt more at home in the world of the thespian. At 14...
 
48.
Barry Corbin
Barry's full given name is Leonard Barrie Corbin, and he was born on October 16, 1940 in Lamesa, Texas, to Kilmer Blain Corbin, an attorney, and Alma Corbin, an elementary school teacher. Barry has a daughter named Shannon Ross, with whom he shares his 15-acre ranch in Fort Worth, Texas, when he isn't working. He says that he rides horses there every chance he gets.
 
49.
Ben Johnson
Born in Oklahoma, Ben Johnson was a ranch hand and rodeo performer when, in 1940, Howard Hughes hired him to take a load of horses to California. He decided to stick around (the pay was good), and for some years was a stunt man, horse wrangler, and double for such stars as John Wayne, Gary Cooper and James Stewart...
 
50.
David Morse
David Morse, a 6' 4" tall blue-eyed blond who performed on stage for 10 years before breaking into film, became established as a respected supporting, character actor and second lead. He was born the first of four children of Charles, a sales manager, and Jacquelyn Morse, a schoolteacher, on October 11...
 
51.
Richard Riehle
Richard Riehle was born in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, to Mary Margaret (Walsh), a nurse, and Herbert John Riehle, an assistant postmaster. He is of German and Irish descent. Richard attended the University of Notre Dame, where he became heavily involved with the University Theatre. Appearing in such productions as "Luther"...
 
52.
Tim Curry
Timothy James Curry was born on April 19, 1946 in Grappenhall, Cheshire, England. His mother, Maura Patricia (Langmead), was a school secretary, and his father, James Curry, was a Methodist Royal Navy chaplain. Curry studied Drama and English at Birmingham University, from which he graduated with Combined Honors...
 
53.
Luke Askew
Tall and rangy, usually sporting long mangy hair, and frequently projecting a strong and intense on-screen presence, character actor Luke Askew made a potent and lasting impression playing a substantial volume of mean and fearsome villains in both motion pictures and television shows alike in a career that spanned over forty years...
 
54.
Peter Lorre
Actor, Casablanca
As a youth Peter Lorre ran away from home, worked as a bank clerk and, after stage training in Vienna, made his acting debut in Zurich. He remained unknown, traveling for several years and acting in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, until Fritz Lang cast him as the psychopathic child killer in M...
 
55.
Murray Hamilton
Actor, Jaws
Murray Hamilton was one of those character actors whose face would be familiar to most movie buffs at an instant, yet his name may not. That's a shame, because Hamilton was one of the most versatile and prolific of performers who was never anything less than completely convincing in any role he took on...
 
56.
John Quade
Actor, The Sting
Character actor John Quade was born John William Saunders on April 1, 1938 in Kansas City, Kansas. Quade transferred from Perry Rural High School in Perry, Kansas to Highland Park High School in Topeka, Kansas in 1954. John was a football tackle and participated in both track and basketball at Highland Park High School...
 
57.
James Gammon
Rugged-looking James Gammon first broke into the entertainment industry not as an actor but as a TV cameraman. From there, his weatherbeaten features, somewhat menacing attitude and a tough-as-nails voice--the kind that used to be described in detective novels as "whiskey-soaked"--reminiscent of '40s...
 
58.
Peter Stormare
Actor, Fargo
Peter Stormare was born in Arbrå, Gävleborgs län, Sweden, to Gunhild (Holm) and Karl Ingvar Storm. He began his acting career at the Royal National Theatre of Sweden, performing for eleven years. In 1990 he became the Associate Artistic Director at the Tokyo Globe Theatre and directed productions of many Shakespeare plays...
 
59.
Paul Gleason
Actor, Die Hard
Character actor Paul Gleason was adept at playing tough guys and white collar sleazebags, making his film debut in Winter A-Go-Go. He made a name for himself portraying these unlikeable characters. A native of Jersey City, New Jersey, Gleason studied extensively at the Actor's Studio in New York City...
 
60.
Scatman Crothers
Scatman Crothers was born Benjamin Sherman Crothers on May 23, 1910 in Terre Haute, Indiana. Songwriter ("Dearest One"), actor, composer, singer, comedian and guitarist who, after high school, appeared in nightclubs, hotels, films and on television. He made many records, including his own compositions...
 
61.
R. Lee Ermey
A talented character actor known for his military roles, Ronald Lee Ermey was in the United States Marine Corps for 11 years. He rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant, and later was bestowed the honorary rank of Gunnery Sergeant by the Marine Corps, after he served 14 months in Vietnam and later did two tours in Okinawa...
 
62.
Charles Napier
Lively character actor who usually plays bodybuilding military types and menacing bad guys. Charles Napier's roles have changed little since his debut in Russ Meyer's Cherry, Harry & Raquel!. Napier went on appearing in other Meyer movies, including the homicidal Harry Sledge in Supervixens and also became a regular playing smaller roles for Jonathan Demme...
“ RIP Chuck Napier! ” - aladdinsane85
 
63.
Daniel von Bargen
A character actor who seems to pop up everywhere as the stereotypical cop, military officer and/or tough guy, Von Bargen can turn in performances of stunning complexity when given the chance. Daniel von Bargen was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on June 5, 1950, to Juanita (Bustle) and Donald L. von Bargen...
“ Gotta give a shout out to this wonderful actor. In light of his recent tragedy (Feb. 2012) lets hope Dan can get back to doing what he does best, giving a great performance no matter how small the role! ” - aladdinsane85
 
64.
David Keith
David Lemuel Keith was born on May 8, 1954 in Knoxville, Tennessee, the son of Lemuel Grady Keith Jr. and Hilda Earle. He graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Theater. Keith had a supporting role in The Rose starring Bette Midler, had a supporting role in Brubaker...
 
65.
Tom Atkins
Handsome, rugged, versatile and charismatic character actor Tom Atkins was born on November 13, 1935 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Atkins initially became an avid horror film fan in his childhood days; Howard Hawks' immortal classic The Thing from Another World made an especially strong impression on him as a kid...
 
66.
Frederic Forrest
Frederic Forrest, the Oscar-nominated character actor, was born two days before Christmas Day 1936 in Waxahachie, Texas, the same home town as director Robert Benton. Forrest had long wanted to be an actor, but he was so nervous that he ran out of auditions for school plays. Later, at Texas Christian University...
 
67.
Ted Levine
Born in Bellaire, Ohio, in May, 1957, he was among the last graduating class of the Windsor Mountain School in Lennox, Massachusetts. Attended Marlboro College in Vermont. Performed in summer stock and regional theatres in Vermont, Michigan and West Virginia before settling in Chicago and joining The Remains ensemble...
 
68.
Paul Winfield
Signifying intelligence, eloquence, versatility and quiet intensity, one of the more important, critically acclaimed black actors to gain a Hollywood foothold in the 1970s was Paul Winfield. Born in 1939 in Los Angeles, he lived there in his early years before moving with his family to Los Angeles' Watts district...
 
69.
Robert Prosky
Member of Washington D.C.'s Arena Stage repertory company in 60's and 70s, where he worked with Jane Alexander James Earl Jones Robert Foxworth and others.
 
70.
Jeffrey DeMunn
Jeffrey DeMunn was born on April 25, 1947 in Buffalo, New York. He studied in England at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, then returned to America and was a member of the National Shakespeare Company. He has starred in many theatre productions, both on and off Broadway, including "K2" (for which he received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor), "Spoils of War" and "Comedians"...
 
71.
Lance Henriksen
Actor, Aliens
An intense, versatile actor as adept at playing clean-cut FBI agents as he is psychotic motorcycle-gang leaders, who can go from portraying soulless, murderous vampires to burned-out, world-weary homicide detectives, Lance Henriksen has starred in a variety of films that have allowed him to stretch his talents just about as far as an actor could possibly hope...
 
72.
John C. Reilly
Character actor, dramatic leading man, or hilarious comic foil? With an astonishing range of roles already under his belt, John C. Reilly has played a eclectic host of rich characters to great effect over the years, from seedy ne'er-do-wells, to lovable, good-natured schlepps. The fifth of six children...
 
73.
Burt Young
Actor, Rocky
Burly, talented character actor who has remained consistently busy playing "rough at the edge" type characters, often on the wrong side of the law. Young was born on April 30 1940 in New York City, the son of a high school shop teacher. He is of Italian descent. Young received his dramatic arts training under legendary acting coach Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio...
 
74.
L.Q. Jones
Actor, Casino
Tall, sandy haired, mustachioed actor from Texas born Justus McQueen, who adopted the name of the character he portrayed in his first film, Battle Cry. Jones, with his craggy, gaunt looks, first appeared in minor character roles in plenty of WWII films including The Young Lions, The Naked and the Dead...
 
75.
Richard Jordan
Harvard-educated stage and screen actor Richard Jordan was born into a socially prominent family on July 19, 1937 in New York City, the grandson of Learned Hand, the greatest American jurist never to have served on the U.S. Supreme Court. Newbold Morris, his stepfather, was a member of the New York City Council during Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia's administration...
 
76.
Scott Glenn
Scott Glenn was born January 26, 1941, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Elizabeth and Theodore Glenn, a salesman. As he grew up in Appalachia, his health was poor; he was bedridden for a year and doctors predicted he would limp for the rest of his life. During long periods of illness, Glenn was reading a lot and "dreaming of becoming Lord Byron"...
 
77.
James Cromwell
Born in Los Angeles but raised in Manhattan and educated at Middlebury College and Carnegie-Mellon University, James Cromwell, the son of famous film director John Cromwell, studied acting at Carnegie-Mellon. He went into the theater (like both his parents) doing everything from Shakespeare to experimental plays...
 
78.
G.D. Spradlin
G.D. Spradlin started his career as a lawyer, then became an Independent Oil producer. He was active in local politics before turning to acting. He joined the Oklahoma Repertory Theatre in 1964.
“ Senator Geary in "The Godfather", the General in "Apocalypse Now", and R.J. Hacker in "Canadian Bacon" 1920-2011....RIP ” - aladdinsane85
 
79.
John Vernon
John Vernon was a prolific stage-trained Canadian character player who made a career out of convincingly playing crafty villains, morally-bankrupt officials and heartless authority figures in American films and television since the 1960s. Vernon has been directed by some stellar filmmakers including...
 
80.
Albert Salmi
Actor, Caddyshack
"Finland's Favorite Son" was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1928 to Finnish immigrants Svante and Ida Salmi. They lived in a Finnish community, and Albert's parents only spoke Finnish around the home. Whereas some kids might enjoy playing hooky, when Albert reported for his first day of school, his teacher told him to come back when he could speak English...
“ A familiar face on television during the 1950s and 60s, especially when it comes to Westerns. Salmi also appeared as Rory Poke in "Brubaker" and as Mr. Noonan in "Caddyshack" before his tragic suicide in 1990. ” - aladdinsane85
 
81.
John Heard
Actor, Home Alone
John Heard is a very talented actor who established himself in the late 1970s and early '80s with roles in the movies Between the Lines, Chilly Scenes of Winter (1979) (a.k.a. "Head Over Heels"), and Heart Beat (1981) (in which he played Jack Kerouac to Nick Nolte's Neal Cassady and Sissy Spacek's...
 
82.
“ Gotta love this guy.....Mike, get back to making film appearances and leave the "Young and the Restless" behind.....please! ” - aladdinsane85
 
83.
Stephen Tobolowsky
Actor, Memento
Character actor Stephen Tobolowsky was born on May 30, 1951 in Dallas, Texas. Over the past three decades, Tobolowsky has racked up a lengthy list of roles in movies and television across many different genres. While Tobolowsky initially attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas with the intention of studying geology...
 
84.
Frank Vincent
"Go home and get your shine box....", so said ill-fated Billy Batts in Goodfellas. However, Billy Batts is better known to a legion of crime-film fans as the talented actor, musician, and comedian Frank Vincent. Multi-talented Vincent was born in North Adams, Massachusetts, but was raised in the Greenville section of Jersey City...
 
85.
Paul Koslo
Lean-faced, intense-looking, German-born, Canada-raised Paul Koslo was at his busiest during the 1970s, usually playing shifty, untrustworthy and often downright nasty characters. He first broke into films at age 22 in the low-budget Little White Crimes, and then appeared in a rush of movies taking advantage of his youthful looks...
 
86.
Richard Dysart
Actor, The Thing
Richard Dysart served for four years in the Air Force during the Korean War. He was a founding member of the American Conservatory Theatre, San Francisco. He received the Drama Desk Award in 1972 and a Emmy Award in 1992. He was good friends with Diana Muldaur, who played Rosalind Shays on L.A. Law.
 
87.
Martin Balsam
Martin Henry Balsam was born on November 4, 1919 in the Bronx, New York City, to Lillian (Weinstein) and Albert Balsam, a manufacturer of women's sportswear. He was the first-born child. His father was a Russian Jewish immigrant, and his mother was born in New York, to Russian Jewish parents. Martin caught the acting bug in high school where he participated in the drama club...
 
88.
Josef Sommer
Actor, Witness
Josef Sommer is a classically trained stage actor who has also been a prolific performer in films. He made his debut at the age of nine in a production of "Watch on the Rhine" with the Carolina Playmakers in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He trained as an actor at the American Shakespeare Festival in Stratford...
 
90.
James Hong
James Hong was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. He studied civil engineering at the University of Minnesota, but at some point along the way became interested in acting. He graduated from the University of Southern California and practiced for 1½ years as a road engineer with the County of Los Angeles...
 
92.
Michael Wincott
Actor, The Crow
Over more than thirty years, Michael Wincott has gained the reputation of a respected and uncompromising actor. Born in Scarborough, Ontario, he eventually moved to New York City where he graduated from Juilliard in 1986 and began a relationship with Joseph Papp's Public Theatre beginning with his creation of the role of Kent in Eric Bogosian's Talk Radio...
 
93.
 
94.
Charles Martin Smith
Charles Martin Smith is an American film actor, writer, and director. Born in Van Nuys, California, Smith was discovered by a talent agent while acting in a school play, usually a rare occurrence. After a few years of working in film, he landed the role of Terry "The Toad" Fields in George Lucas' 1973 film...
 
95.
Pete Postlethwaite
Actor, Inception
Classically-trained actor Pete Postlethwaite was born Peter William Postlethwaite in 1946 and was a distinguished character actor on stage, TV and film. Growing up in Warrington, Lancashire amid middle-class surroundings, he went to college and while completing his studies developed an interest in theatre...
 
96.
Jack Warden
Jack Warden was born John Warden Lebzelter, Jr. on September 18, 1920 in Newark, New Jersey, to Laura M. (Costello) and John Warden Lebzelter. His father was of German and Irish descent, and his mother was of Irish ancestry. Raised in Louisville, Kentucky, at the age of seventeen, young Jack Lebzelter was expelled from Louisville's DuPont Manual High School for repeatedly fighting...
 
97.
William Hickey
Son of Edward & Nora Hickey. Best known as the ancient Mafia don in Prizzi's Honor, Hickey had a long, distinguished career in film, television, and the stage. Began career as a child actor on the variety stage. Made Broadway debut as walk-on in George Bernard Shaw's "Saint Joan" (1951 production, starring Uta Hagen)...
 
98.
Kurt Fuller
Kurt Fuller is best known for his work in the films Wayne's World with Mike Myers, Anger Management, with Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler, and most recently as part of the all star cast of Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris. Kurt was born in San Francisco and raised in the agricultural heartland of California's San Joaquin Valley...
 
99.
Jack Gilford
Actor, Cocoon
Jack Gilford was born in Brooklyn, New York, as Yankel Gellman. He began his career in the Amateur Nights of the 1930s moving on to nightclubs as an innovative comedian doing satire and pantomime. He was a regular at the Greenwich Village nightspot, Cafe Society and hosted shows featuring Zero Mostel...
 
100.
Frank Nelson
He had one of those instantly identifiable mugs that made you laugh as soon as you saw him. And then he'd open his mouth. Veteran character actor Frank Nelson was here, there and everywhere in the 50s and 60s, usually playing a pop-eyed, hot-tempered foil to the likes of TV's top comedy stars such as Lucille Ball and Jack Benny...
“ Yesssssssss? A familiar face to anyone who's a fan of the Golden Age of Television, notching up appearances on "I Love Lucy", "The Jack Benny Show" and later "Sanford and Son". Also known for voice-over work, Nelson provided voices and narration work for the Flintstones, The Snorks and The Jetsons. You may also know him from the various Simpsons lampoons of his Yessssssss? catchphrase. ” - aladdinsane85